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Rohit Sharma – A Stronger Character In Making

October 12, 2015

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The stylish right handed guy comes from Mumbai. He is gifted with timing and blessed with talent. Whenever he hits a boundary or more, almost every time you are made spell bound and you keep staring in wonder at him in search of words to describe his shots. Often the words like fantastic, majestic or ecstatic turn out to be very weak. Even exceptional, sensational or phenomenal don’t take you anywhere near down the line. He is calm, he is patient and rarely plays a shot out of anger. He can switch roles quickly along that wide line of batting range he has in between 99% timing 1% power and vice versa. But whatever he does till getting out, he makes sure that he remains as elegant as ever. Yes, I am talking about one of the finest stroke makers of the modern day cricket – Rohit Gurunath Sharma.

What an innings he played yesterday! What an innings he played a week ago! But sometimes the game doesn’t make any kind of justice to those who made it look great. Probably that’s why neither of the two master class knocks could see his team go over the line. A century in a T20 match irrespective of the pitch, ground and the other factors is a very very hard feat to achieve. No wonder we don’t see T20 centuries every day. Scoring the maiden T20 international ton and then ending up on the losing side is something that nobody would want to experience in tandem. But when the same player suffers the same thing within less than ten days’ time in spite of playing an even better innings under difficult conditions to bat on – it doesn’t depict any sign of justice whatsoever.

We all know what he can do. He has all the shots in the book and many more to showcase his ability. Every youngster should be all eyes with his shots in order to learn how to play those. Many words have been spent in the past for such stuffs though (including a few from myself as well). So what’s new in this post? Here I am to write down a few things on Rohit Sharma which I feel is a strong indication of the fact that from here he will only get better and better.

One area of his batting where he needed to improve was that he used to give the bowlers more chance of picking up his wicket early in his innings. But against a big team like South Africa, the approach he has walked out with has been a striking feature. At times he tended to be over curious with his shot selection and after seeing one or two of his good shots finding the fielders he would play a loose stroke in a hurry. But what we have seen lately is that if he is unable to pierce the gap he is not afraid to go over the top. He is backing his strength rather than going for the little nudge or poke at the 5th stump deliveries. He is also leaving the ball well and it is likely to reduce his chances of getting caught behind.

Like I said he has all the shots in the book and many more – I am getting amazed with the way he is pulling out new aces off his sleeves to add more things to lengthen that list of “more”. When he is set he has a shot for every ball including those for which he actually has two or three. I was well aware of the fact that he can play the same ball in front of square as well as behind. But what I wasn’t aware that the power he can generate even playing off the back foot where even the body weight is not going over the ball. If you have any doubt regarding his head position and body balance, just watch the replay of the stumping appeal which was raised against him – perhaps a perfect example of how to stand still in your crease. He was really puppeting with Tahir as the former of the two back to back googlies was lofted calmly inside out for a four and the latter was almost hammered at the exact place to attain a greater result. At that stage you could feel for the bowler as there was hardly anything wrong with the ball, just the batting was too classy. Another occasion when he swept I thought that he might have his heart in his mouth, but the ball just went on and on before it eventually landed well over the ropes. The little chip he played dancing down the track against Duminy was a special one too. It just goes to show that not every time you give the ball elevation you have to hit that hard, sometimes it can be done effortlessly even with a fielder waiting at long on, provided your name is Rohit Sharma. I don’t think that there is anybody in the world cricket right now who can elevate the ball in a better way than he does. At the same time he is one of those very few players who are waving the flag of touch-play while the rest remain confined to powerplay.

Added responsibility has not only made Rohit a matured player but also has made him a complete team man. At Gwalior he has played with more than a run a ball which allowed Rahane to play freely. When he saw Kohli and Dhoni not finding their way to the big strokes he took everything on his shoulders to score runs single handedly, unfortunately just didn’t get enough support from the other end to see his team home. On a pitch where batting gradually got difficult as the game progressed towards the back end nobody else was able to get the big shot away, yet the man sitting at a score of 140+ was still ready to sacrifice his wicket for his captain who was seriously struggling. It clearly shows his great bit of faith on his captain’s finishing ability.

Perhaps what happened has reminded me of what used to happen with Sachin Tendulkar quite often. So many times he got out after taking his team inching closer to a famous victory and the rest of the batsmen could not live up to the invariably straight forward equations. But what made him great is that every such thing made him to prepare harder for the next game and hit back stronger. Can his home town boy do the same to put himself among the all time greats of Indian Cricket? If he sustains what he has showcased over the last one week or so, I am optimistic that there are silver linings waiting for him.

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